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Fraud in the Inducement and Reliance

Wood v. ADT, [Ms. 2180739, May 29, 2020] ___ So.3d ___ (Ala. Civ. App. 2020). The court (Donaldson, J.; Thompson, P.J., and Moore, Edwards, and Hanson, JJ., concur) affirms a partial summary in favor of a home security company and its local contractor entered by the Lee Circuit Court following extensive briefing and consideration of voluminous documents and telephonic recordings which revealed an absence of genuine issues of material facts concerning plaintiff’s reliance upon representations made by the security company’s personnel to induce her to install a residential security system. Because the security system’s local dealer’s representative made oral representations at the point of sale contradicting the representations earlier made by the security company’s telephone sales personnel, those contradictions imposed a duty upon the plaintiff to inquire and to investigate in order to protect her own interests before signing any written contract, authorizing the installation of any equipment or paying any additional money. Ms. **37-39. Plaintiff did not do so. Only after money had been paid did she read the written contract and realize that the contract contradicted representations previously made. Because plaintiff could have waited to obtain and read the written contract before she paid the additional money, authorized the installation of the equipment or signed the written contract, she could not be deemed to have reasonably relied upon any oral fraudulent inducements.

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